More than a game—my part in a world record attempt

More than a game—my part in a world record attempt

As student Elise Mayo nears the end of her undergraduate degree, she reflects on her time at the University, life as a student, and her role in an upcoming world record attempt.

All smiles at training for the ‘More Than A Game’ world record attempt! Billie Brook Photography

A little bit about me

Kia ora koutou, I’m Elise.

Wellington wasn’t always in my plan. I grew up in Auckland and graduated from high school in 2018, then after a gap year in Europe, I came back to Aotearoa when COVID hit. I would have liked to have kept living overseas but because COVID was keeping us all at home, I decided I should put my head down and start studying for a degree and at least move away from my hometown to do it. So that’s how I ended up at Te Herenga Waka.

Getting involved in my degree and the sports community has enhanced my university experience

I’ve been here at the University for nearly three years and still feel like I’m discovering new things about Wellington every day. I love the music scene (especially the Wednesday night Eyegum gigs at San Fran) and heaps of cool nightlife spots, such as stand-up comedy at Fringe and recently watching some theatre at St James! I’m doing a Bachelor of Science, double majoring in psychology and sociology with a minor in philosophy and I have found that the type of people who take psychology are easy to get along with. I’m loving the degree!

I’ve always been into football but I’m a sports fanatic who would probably play almost anything. Football is my first love though. The teamwork aspect and working together are big elements I enjoy as well as the company and the vibe of the team I’m in. When I first started playing for Te Herenga Waka I instantly clicked with the girls and we’ve become close friends as well as teammates, all hanging out outside of football.

Getting amongst a practice game at one of our overnight training sessions. Billie Brook Photography

The world record attempt right here at the University

On Friday 18 November, ours and a couple of other university teams are going to attempt to a break the world record for the longest continuous indoor football game. Our aim is to raise awareness of mental health services in New Zealand. All involved in the record attempt have connections to people who have struggled with mental health or have been affected themselves. By attempting this record, we want to highlight how football can help your mental health. Our tagline for the attempt is “More than a game” To help get behind the cause, you can either sponsor me as a player directly or check out the team page. All donations will go directly to funding mental health services in Aotearoa, all event costs are covered by our corporate sponsors. Every little bit helps! You can also keep up with our journey on our Facebook page.

The amazing team of players I will be taking on this insane feat with! Billie Brook Photography

How we’re planning to do it—training, planning, and commitment!

The current record is 36 hours and we’re aiming play for 45 from Friday night to Sunday night. It’s going to take a lot of mahi, and I’ve been doing boxing classes as well as doing some overnight football trainings to work on our endurance. We’ll play in four-hour shifts, then swap out with other players so that it keeps going as a single continuous game. While off the pitch, we’ll ice and stretch, wind down, shower, sleep, and then repeat until 45 hours is up. We’ll each do six blocks of four hours playing and run/walk about 10 km in each of those shifts so we could end up doing close to a marathon on the field.

It’s going to take place in the indoor football arena at Kelburn Campus next to the Boyd Wilson field. I’m a little bit nervous but we’re all in it together!

‘More Than A Game’ was born thanks to our awesome committee, who have worked so hard to bring this idea to life.

Thanks for reading my blog and I hope you’ll follow our progress and support mental health services in your day to day.

Elise Mayo is a third-year student studying for a Bachelor of science double majoring in Psychology and Sociology with a minor in Philosophy.

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